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Richard Reed Parry, Sting + Witch Prophet
Sunday night is for surprises.
Richard Reed Parry is perhaps the most visible extra-curricular member of Arcade Fire. He has experimented with orchestral undercurrents, produced records by other indie powerhouses and finally delivered a follow-up to his debut with a majestic two-parter. In his return to the House Of Strombo, Parry brought songs from ‘Quiet River Of Dust, Vol. 1’, which was released on the autumn equinox and tells stories of ghosts, English folk, Japanese death poems and he’ll unravel it all with George. As a bonus, he delivers a cover of Mary Margaret O’Hara for the ages. 

Sting has spent the last decade performing emotional archeology upon his town’s shipyard, sitting in the back of the Broadway audience to take notes and tracing his own story through the process. This all resulted in the crafting of his musical, The Last Ship. On its premiere night at Mirvish’s Princess Of Wales Theatre, the standing ovation included his friend Shaggy, with whom Sting recently earned his seventeenth Grammy Award for their collaborative reggae album, 44/876. Needless to say, Sting is in a creative resurgence. In a very rare solo acoustic performance from the House Of Strombo, he brings his songs from The Last Ship, his fantastic hymn “Fragile” and an open heart to discuss the power in community, identity and the complicated relationship between him and his father.

Witch Prophet is a self-managed, queer, Ethiopian/Eritrean, singer-songwriter, the CEO of Heart Lake Records (FKA 88 Days Of Fortune) and member of feminist-based electro dub hop group Above Top Secret. She’s also a mother. You might have found her trademarked soundscapes colouring work with Shad, Fucked Up or Lido Pimienta, but she cemented her own place with her debut full-length The Golden Octave. We’re lucky to share with you the reveal of her ode to ancestry and in conversation with George, she details the choice to say ‘yes’ to the magic of life and spin the records that tell her story.

We’ll also exclusively premiere a load of new music from 13, Ian Daniel Kehoe, Mother Tongues, Orville Peck and Steven Lambke.

Tell your friends that the Spirit Of Radio lives on.

Bernice, Bob Mold + Celebrating John Candy

Sunday night is for Johnny LaRue.

Bernice‘s Robin Dann is the daughter of a symphony harpist and former-TSO principal violinist and a graduate of formality and experimentation herself. She leads a band of celebrated collaborators that includes Thom Gill, Colin Fisher, Daniel Fortin, Philippe Melanson and Felicity Williams. Their work adds colour to projects with some of Canada’s finest: Bahamas, The Barr Brothers, DIANA, John Southworth, Martha Wainwright, Owen Pallett and many others. That is all to say that they conspire to create some mastery as evident on their critically applauded debut album, PUFF. After bringing the heat with their Joni Mitchell cover on our JONI75 special earlier this season, Bernice returns to the House with their own songs.

Bob Mould, the master and architect that you know from Hüsker Dü, has been dropping excellent solo records for about three decades. With his recent relocation to Berlin, shifting from San Francisco, he’s writing songs armed with love, positivity and unveiled that sound with his latest offering, Sunshine Rock. In his visit to the House Of Strombo, he unpacks that process and his infinite vault of stories.

Strombo premieres new music from friends of the show, Hannah Georgas and another from Partner.

We nod to the god: John Candy. We lost the comedic force 25-years-ago this week. So to celebrate the man, voices come together: the legendary Paul Shaffer sings a tribute; the man that discovered him and one of the fathers of The Second City, Andrew Alexander; his school councillor and friend, Ted Schmidt; songwriting legend and fan, Joel Plaskett and we’ll be joined by his SCTV co-hort, Martin Short.

Tell your friends that the Spirit Of Radio lives on.

Def Leppard + George’s Mother

Sunday night is for music lovers.

Def Leppard was the first cassette that George purchased. In a phoner from across the pond, frontperson Joe Elliott reflects on their icon status, struggles with identity, the Bohemian Rhapsody film, stealing techniques from the Human League, Roxy Music and their upcoming Canadian tour.

George’s mother has (unknowingly) made the occasional visit to the program to share her stories, advice for George and wonderful musical musings. Tonight is one of those times. She remembers the time that she serenaded peacocks in Punta Cana with her harmonica, the letter she sent to Donald Trump and her first concert, Neil Diamond. What a gift. Please don’t tell her.

We also welcome our friend Clara Hughes to share her love for the great Nina Simone and George calls on Prime Minister Trudeau to give the Order Of Canada to Plastikman.

Tell your friends that the Spirit Of Radio lives on.

Eva Husson, Kim Mitchell + Sydanie
Sunday night is for our friend, Darryl Weeks.
Eva Husson has been a nomad, earned her Masters and has written and directed several films, including the Palme D’or nominated, Girls In The Sun. At this year’s Cannes premiere of that film, women from the film industry delivered a statement of gender equality. This included Kristen Stewart, Jane Fonda, Cate Blanchett, Ava DuVernay, Patty Jenkins, Marion Cotillard, Agnès Varda — among the 82 women who climbed the steps of the Palais together. That number representing 82 films directed by women that have screened as official selections in Cannes competition, compared to 1,645 films directed by men—a ratio of less than five percent. When she visited the House during TIFF 2018, she unravelled that moment of solidarity, today’s movement within the film industry, France’s tradition of nationalism, the process of creating her war film about sisterhood and survival in Iraqi Kurdistan, learning about differing life perspectives, modern racism, social justice within art, how landing in America five-days before 9/11 shifted her film directing courses at AFI and her desire to remake Jacques Demy’s “Peau d’Âne.”
Kim Mitchell continues to live by his personal mission statement of “Rock N Roll Duty” and for the first time, he sits down with George. They explore the unheard Gord Downie collaboration, his stroke recovery, the art of writing with optimism, life after his long-running Q107 gig, stories behind some of his biggest songs, how he embraced the local music festivals, his dog Webster, what Max Webster song he often strums at home, obsessing over Jimi Hendrix and he exclusively reveals his new reworking of “Diamonds Diamonds” with Barenaked Ladies
Sydanie is what she self-describes as: “supernatural rapper mom.” We found ourselves spinning her 999 mixtape relentlessly. One of our favourite artists in the country. She’s doing a lot with the power of music. Music to help heal. She also founded MOCHA (Mothers Organized in Community Healing Arts) to provide safe creative spaces for racialized, queer and economically challenged mothers. In conversation with George, Sydanie digs into everything from drone therapy to motherhood and identity in art, weaved through with a playlist of songs that tell her story.

We lost our friend and beloved publicist Darryl Weeks. He was a true champion of his family and music. He helped many in the community navigate their way. To celebrate him, we’ll hear from some of the many friends and artists that he worked with: Art D’ecco, Born Ruffians, Louise Burns, Paul Saulnier of PS I Love You, Stephen Ramsay of Young Galaxy and Tim Burgess of The Charlatans. If you feel like you can help his children’s education fund, donate here.

We’ll also premiere new music from Vancouver’s TARIQ and will hear from our friend Jade Bergeron, the woman behind the Flying Hórses.

Tell your friends that the Spirit Of Radio lives on.

Mumford And Sons, Sarah Gadon + Sister Nancy
Sunday night is for music lovers.

Mumford And Sons recently said that they write songs about the four D’s: “death, divorce, drugs and depression.” While a career has built, they’ve found themselves on the bedside of mortality more frequently through the making of their fourth album, Delta. It’s been a decade since they smashed themselves onto the chart with f-bomb dropping, banjo-fuelled hymnals and as they rolled down the road, they’ve earned arenas, music industry hardware, Billboard charts, stage time with Bob Dylan, U2, Barack Obama, their own traveling festival and plenty of imitators have followed them. With their latest release, they’ve earned an onslaught of both support and criticism. In conversation with Strombo, they unravel their appreciation for Metallica, their own identity, how they approach a fourth record as an established band, their relationship with being labeled as “folk”, the collaborative power of producer Paul Epworth, allowing bad ideas to grow, how success challenged their friendship, fan expectations of who they should be, the balance of sustainability and artistic ambitions and how they’ve found themselves with another record already written.

Sarah Gadon is in the midst of a banner year, from the critically acclaimed Margaret Atwood-adapted series Alias Grace to Xavier Dolan‘s English-language debut The Death And Life Of John F. Donovan to the third season of True Detective. No stranger to the House, Gadon returned to unpack these projects, the residue of multiple characters and what tunes fuel those characters from inside of her headphones.
Sister Nancy goes beyond “Bam Bam” in a thorough exploration of life with Strombo. She is known to the world as the first female dancehall DJ and her aforementioned anthem is one of the most sampled reggae tracks of all-time, as recently repurposed on tracks from both Jay Z and Kanye West. She rifles through stories behind her biggest songs, her bullying youth in Jamaica, the discovery of music within her, the loss of her revivalist pastor father, her struggle with motherhood, discovering her popularity after moving to New Jersey, the battle for royalties and more. As she confidently voices in the conversation, “I don’t want to forget pain. Pain makes me a strong woman.”

George also will share new sounds from friends of the show Flying Hórses and Hawskley Workman and the Montreal-born soulful voice of Mélissa Laveaux dials in to share her love for the supergroup, Bermuda Triangle.

Tell your friends that the Spirit Of Radio lives on.

The Dirty Nil, Maggie Rogers + Reggie Watts

Sunday night is for music lovers.

Maggie Rogers has been an unavoidable force over the past little while, from the coveted Saturday Night Live stage to topping the Billboard charts with her debut album. In her session with George, she discusses the concept of being present, the impact of Gustav Holst’s The Planets, learning about the music industry through transcribing Lizzy Goodman interviews, meditation, rewriting her story following the unexpected viral storm, her appreciation of Jessie Reyez, the social media expectations, the space between pop and punk worlds and she delivers a cover of Whitney Houston‘s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.”

The Dirty Nil‘s latest release is the aptly titled ‘Master Volume.’ They continue to gut bust with full-fledged distortion levels, keeping the spirit of rock’n’roll in the conversation. That spirit has earned the JUNO-winning boys stages with proper guitar slingers like Against Me!, Alexisonfire and The Who. Their frontman Luke Bentham watched his hero John Prine strum his songs in the House Of Strombo earlier this season and now, joined by his compadres Kyle Fisher and Ross Miller, they cut the floor open.

Reggie Watts is a self-prescribed “intellectual stoner’s dream.” Known by most as the faithful band-leading Paul Shaffer to James Corden‘s Letterman, he’s a master of comedy and an internationally renowned musical genius in his own right. When he came through town for JFL42, he explored his craft, his mind and process in-depth with George.

We’ll also premiere new music from two voices of the atlantic, Adam Baldwin and B.A. Johnston.

Tell your friends that the spirit of radio lives on.

Donna Strickland + The Trews

We continue to roll on the Spirit Of Radio.

Donna Strickland is a laser jock turned Nobel Laureate. She won the Nobel Prize in Physics 2018 for her role in the development of chirped pulse amplification in the mid-1980s. This work led to the most intense laser pulses ever created, which are used to machine glass in your cell phone or slice your cornea in laser eye surgery. Strickland, also the the professor of physics at the University of Waterloo, is believed to be the only person awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for a first paper published and the third woman to win the physics prize in 117 years. She joins the ranks of Marie Curie and Maria Goeppert-Mayer. When she was just back from the Nobel Week festivities in Sweden, she stopped by the house to chat with George about her love of the work, the role of light in helping us understand the climate crisis.



The Trews have been a long-standing staple in the tradition of Canadian mainstream rock radio. However, while they were in the middle of crafting a new album with iconic producer Bob Rock — they burned it all down. New producer. New label. New management. They’re also in a position of elder-statesmanship, producing records by the next generation like The Glorious Sons, collaborating with Max Kerman of Arkells. The Antigonish fellas have previously made their mark on our show by testifying to their old tour mates on our HIP30 and collaborating with their sister for our JONI75. This time, they’re bringing their own songs.

It’s four hours of algorithm free, commercial free musical celebration. Come in.

Best of the Strombo Show: The Strombo Show presents JONI 75

The Strombo Show presented a four-hour special honouring the 75th birthday of Joni Mitchell featuring exclusive covers and conversations.

“To us, the true value of song is in its ability to speak to the deeper voice in our own heads and connect us with others. Very few, if any, have done it the way Joni has. We take a moment ahead of her 75th birthday and gather voices to sing her songs, share their stories as a testament to our painter, poet, artist.” – George

This celebration of Joni Mitchell includes performances and stories from AHI, Alannah Myles, a l l i e, Andy Kim, Anemone, Arkells, Art d’Ecco, Bernice, Bif Naked, Bonnie Raitt, Bruce Cockburn, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Charlotte Cardin, Charlotte Cornfield, Chilly Gonzales, Coeur de pirate, Courtney Barnett, Denise Donlon, Dizzy, Evening Hymns, 54-40, Fred Penner, Grand Analog, Haviah Mighty, Hop Along, Jean-Michel Blais, Jeen, Jennifer Castle, Jeremy Dutcher, Jill Barber, Jim Cuddy, Joel Plaskett, Judy Collins, July Talk, Kacy & Clayton, La Force, LIGHTS & Regent Park School of Music, Lissie, Lost Cousins, Mac Demarco, Maestro Fresh Wes, Maiko Watson, Martha Wainwright, Mary Gauthier, Maylee Todd, Milk & Bone, Molly Johnson, Murray McLauchlan, Nazareth, Nilüfer Yanya, Partner, Randy Bachman, Richard Reed Parry, Robert Trujillo, Rufus Wainwright, Safia Nolin, Sarah Gadon, Sarah McLachlan, Shad, Silver Pools, Steve Earle, Sunflower Bean, Sureilla, Taylor Knox, Terra Lightfoot, Tom Morello, The Trews, Vivek Shraya, The Weather Station & more.

Broken Social Scene, Chastity + Nikita of Regent Park School Of Music

This Sunday night is for music lovers.

Broken Social Scene, joined by Feist and Jason Collett, celebrate and tease new music and revisit some of their biggest songs in the House Of Strombo. An institution in Canadian music, Social Scene reunited with the album “Hug Of Thunder” in 2017 and have been bringing their show around the world since. We have previously welcomed members’ other projects — including Do Make Say Think, Kandle, La Force and Stars — but this time, they all come together in one of our most triumphant sessions.

Chastity is Brandon Williams from Whitby, Ontario and his album “Death Lust” is one that George declared, “gives me hope.” Brandon is a devout DIY mind, creating art and concert series in his hometown to build a community and through his songs, he challenges the systemic racism that hometown breathes. In an exclusive reveal of his stringed quartet arrangement, Williams unravels haunting renditions of his songs.

Nikita Austin feels music with her body through vibration, whether it is the piano, the steel drum or the flute. As a student of the Regent Park School of Music, a non-profit community school, she has honed her craft to fight against her consistent loss of hearing. She visits the House to bang the drum and chat with George about her absolute passion for music.

We’ll also welcome our friend Ben Kowalewicz of Billy Talent to reminisce about the legendary Pete Shelley of Buzzcocks and their first American tour, supporting the punk heroes. And you might know her from our HIP30 and JONI75 specials, the wonderful Charlotte Cornfield reveals her new song for you.

Tell your friends that we are the spirit of radio.